My parents-in-law are different.
DH and I have jokingly said we should position camers in their house, and run a kind of Big Brother series, featuring their goings on.
We'd make a fortune - and entertain a nation!
The two of them can make such drama; have such fights; have such bizarre conversations, that, in South Africa at least, it would be a can't-miss programme.
Noone could make up a screen play so off-the-wall!
They live in a sort of love/hate zone
Fearful of being without one another, but irritated to the nth degree with each other.
A lose/lose situation, if I ever saw one!
My father-in-law is 84 and is consumed with his frailty.
He goes to the very patient Military Hospital about 4 times a week, terrified that each day will be his last.
The staff is kind to him, giving him blood transfusions now and then so he'll feel stronger.
I think their patience might be running thin now though.
My mother-in-law hates it that he gets all the attention.
And let's him know it.
And tries to outdo his health complaints.
And is dismissive about his condition, fully assured that she is, in fact, the sicker of the two.
I think she might even be glad that she has pain but he doesn't.
That lends clout to her claims.
The truth is, though, that neither of them is really able to cope with living unassisted.
We have been trying for ages, to convince them that since they're not coping, they need to find an alternative.
Every suggestion was met with hostility.
Its hard for them.
But still, it's frustrating to meet such a blank wall.
Here DH and I, retired people ourselves, find ourselves in this bizarre position of having to cope with parents that behave like Terrible-Two's!
It would hysterically funny if were not so sad and infuriating.
Now the dilemma is, do we let them carry on living by themselves as they (think they) want?
Or do we do what so many other adult children have had to do for their aged parents - put our "foots" down and move them against their wishes?
Believing that, once they get used to it, they will actually begin to enjoy their lives again?
I hate what this is doing to my man.
It is constantly on his mind
And they are constantly on the phone, dependant on him
But criticising and demanding incessantly.
I don't think they realise what they're doing
But its lousy.